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Just One Taste by Louisa Edwards
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Aug 31, 10

Just One Taste by Louisa Edwards
Contemporary- Aug 31st, 2010
3 1/2 stars

Wes Murphy, a chef want-to-be, has to take Food Chem 101. Unfortunately, it looks like passing the class is going to be a challenge, until the Academy hires Dr. Rosemary Wilkins as one of the new substitute teachers. Serious, geeky Rosemary is attracted to Wes, a bad boy with a loveable mutt, but tries to resist this alien feeling. When they partner up to conduct experiments on aphrodisiacs as part of Wes’s final project, the attraction between them sizzles and burns... As they fall in love, can Wes overcome his past and accept Rosemary’s love? Can Rosemary overcome her own personal issues and let herself be loved?

This romance novel’s main star is Wes Murphy, and he comes with a lot of personal baggage. If you are interested in characters and their growth, you will enjoy Wes as he learns to overcome his personal doubts and horrible upbringing. Rosemary is cute and sweet, but she is not in the limelight for huge chunks of the time. To me, her character is as good as she can get, which is not necessarily a bad thing. She’s like Han Solo - set in her ways and interesting enough that we don’t care about character growth. Together, they complement each other. The other 2 main stars are Jess and Frankie, a gay couple. So much time was devoted to them that it felt like there were two full romance novels packed in one, instead of a sub-plot attached to the main plot. That’s not a bad thing if you like a plot packed with substance, plus the characters are whole and unique enough to add flavor to the entire package.

For me, this whole novel never really clicked together - it felt like there’s too much going on and too much emotional drama unfolding at a really leisurely pace. My favorite romance novels are always full of decisive people, and Wes is a little bit too wishy-washy for my taste. Rosemary, on the other hand, is my kind of girl. She’s so unabashedly geeky that she reminds me of Leslie from Big Bang Theory. I’m also actually pleasantly surprised by the depth of Edward’s research - how many people can catch the “Browncoat” reference in the book?

As a fellow geek, I am glad that Edward is writing about a female geek and playing up her geek factor. Too bad, Rosemary and her crew just didn’t do it for me. I can feel the passion Edwards poured into the book, but the pacing of the novel and Wes’s indecisiveness just drags the book down for me.

Reviewed by Pauline from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club

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